• by Yann Tear

Pochettino says: 'Blame me, not Hugo' after blunder by Spurs' keeper


Mauricio Pochettino has raced to the defence of Hugo Lloris following the dreadful goalkeeping blunder which could have cost his side dearly.

The Spurs captain was caught dawdling with the ball at his feet, inviting Danny Ings to nick the ball off him and touch it past him and over the line.

That first-half goal, combined with the sending off of Serge Aurier soon after, made it a tricky afternoon for the hosts, but they recovered to win 2-1.

Pochettino says his keeper should not be rebuked for the error, and praised his resilience in staying focused after the goal to make two outstanding second half saves.

The Tottenham boss said: “You don’t need to blame Hugo, blame me because I demand him to play in this way.

“Of course, this situation can happen but I think the team showed unbelievable spirit after.

“I’m not surprised [that he recovered]. You are talking about, if not the best, then the three to five best goalkeepers in the world. I want that no one blames him. In this action you need to blame me because I demand him to do what he was doing.

“He’s so strong mentally, and of course he showed that he wasn’t affected after this situation. Sometimes it happens, it’s football.

“When a player does something on the pitch that maybe when you miss a goal or miss a pass, for me I put in the same level. The difference is the keeper is in a different position. But you know, he showed great mentality and that is why he’s one of the best.”

Spurs boss also defended Aurier, saying his right back was unlucky to pick up to first half yellow cards, which left his side with 10 men for an hour.

“For me it was completely unfair,” he said. “I watched the two actions and it’s completely unfair, but I’m not blaming the referee. This type of action happens but today was against us.

“When I watched the two actions, for me it wasn’t a yellow card, both. For me it wasn’t a sending off. But to keep the clean sheet for 45 minutes I think showed that we have an amazing spirit and we are all together. That is the point, to keep going and being consistent in the future.“

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